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Guest Post: Will it Run Doom? HTML5 Brings 3D Games to Life


As the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco fast approaches we will soon start to hear a lot more buzz around HTML5 and game development. There are many sessions devoted on how to create HTML5 games and cash in on the upcoming wave. The wave has been building for a while and it’s finally about to crash up on shore as the technologies that make up the HTML5 standard are starting to bring real potential for game creators. New advances and demos of canvas and webGL are transforming simple web games into full blown 3D realms where immersive game play can rival any desktop equivalent. While we are comparing web games to their desktop counterparts, we are seeing the big publishers breaking their games out of the browsers and delivering them to the desktop to create that immersive playing experience that is helping them find new users and increase engagement.

Open brings new opportunities

The developers are regaining control over their future. No longer are they beholden to a specific format that may or may not work across devices or platforms. Additionally the gatekeepers of the industry are no longer able to stand in the way between the developer and the gamer. Big success stories like Double Fine Productions raising almost 1.8 million (at the time of writing this article) direct from users via Kickstarter has shown that gamers simply want more games and they are willing to pay for them. The gamers like the feeling of being directly connected with the artists and developers, and the developers like being able to create the games they want to create without having to get permission from a large publisher. This new model is starting to thrive and we see that choice between open vs. closed happening at all levels.

Delivering a rich gaming experience

The open advantages of HTML5 are being realized as developers are able to bring those games to market, not only on the web and mobile, but they are also taking them to the desktop where the user wants to play games. Delivering a rich and immersive experience can be hard on the web when you are a small window in a crowded browser full of tabbed pages. The constant distraction of pop ups and other things happening on other tabs takes the user out of the game and distracts from the experience. The benefits of a native desktop app are easily apparent when it comes to games, but the high cost of learning a new language and the effort to port the game to the native app are far beyond the reach of the independent developer. Being able to deliver a full screen experience with accelerated graphics all via HTML5 is a gold mine for the independent developer. To be able to truly deliver to all platform and devices while still maintaining a single codebase is the holy grail of write once, run anywhere that might finally be realized soon.


Ben Cote is head of community marketing at Pokki where he loves to play with disruptive technology. Ben lives at the intersection of technology and media and is a highly sought after speaker, making presentations at SXSW Interactive, Sundance, Slamdance, Picnic, Comic Con and more. Gaming developers can see the results of the most recent Pokki developer contests, which ran in early 2012.

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